Tell us when there is a contagious disease of epidemic proportions in our community! Pass Washington state HB 1139, and SB 5228 - Epidemic Warning Law!
Here is the link to the official House Bill. It is also on it's way to the Senate here in Washington state.
There is no one funded to, or responsible for, telling the public in the event of an epidemic of any reportable contagious disease in their community, in Washington State, or any other state.
Not the Center for Disease Control (CDC), not the Department of Health (DOH), and not the Department of the Health and Human Services (HHS); no one. They can wait until it is over, and never say anything at all.
If it is not in writing, it does not happen! No funding, no warning! This puts it in writing!
Tell us when there is a contagious disease of epidemic proportions in our community!
As a citizen, I expect to be informed if there is a communicable disease at epidemic levels in my neighborhood, or my state. A Public Health Warning notice, in the form of a low cost post card should be sent to all households, businesses and Post Office Boxes in the affected area. This should happen as soon as any reportable communicable disease reaches the epidemic threshold, which is predetermined by the state Department of Health, in conjunction with the CDC. These same diseases require you must report that you have it to the DOH, yet they do not have to share what they have gathered with us. And they didn't share it until we initiated the public service announcements ourselves, three months into the worst epidemic in decades.
We were told to go to the private sector to raise money to tell the public here in Washington state after Kaliah died. Contagious diseases don't acknowledge state borders, so it should be a national law, but Congressman Rick Larsen says it is unconstitutional to ask for a national law, so we need one for each state.
Kaden's Law in Illinois http://www.change.org/petitions/illinois-doh-warn-us-when-epidemics-are-in-our-community, and
Sebanna's Law in Oregon
Collin's Law in Michigan
Read more here about Kaliah: http://kennethaskorner.weebly.com/
Our goal is to create an identical law in each state, until it is a national law.
Each state will have a child honored who died to a preventable disease by naming the law after them.
Here is the beginning of the law itself:
Support the bill sponsored by Representative Mary Helen Roberts:
An Act Relating to public notification of local health conditions"
Christopher Blake 360-786-7392 House Health Care Committee December 12, 2012 (9:45 AM) AN Act Relating to public notification of local health conditions; and adding a new section to chapter 70.05 RCW. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON: NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 43.70 RCW to read as follows: (1) By January 1, 2014, the department shall establish guidance for local health jurisdictions to consider while developing community health alert notification plans. The guidance shall assist local health jurisdictions with the adoption of community health alert notification plans by addressing components of the plan including the: (a) Methods for monitoring the incidence of notifiable conditions within the local health jurisdiction and determining when the incidence of notifiable conditions exceeds the rate that would be expected within the particular jurisdiction; and (b) Manner and content for informing the public within the local health jurisdiction's territory as notifiable conditions exceed the rate that would be expected. The department shall identify factors to consider when determining the appropriate level of public notification such as the risk to the public from the notifiable condition, the duration of the higher incidence of the notifiable condition, the extent of the increased incidence, the cost-effectiveness of various options, and the balancing of the need to keep the public informed without creating either undue concern or diminished receptivity to severe public health risks. (2) In developing the guidelines, the department shall establish a temporary work group of public health officials, representatives of local media establishments, and the public. (3) For purposes of this section, (a) "Local health jurisdiction" means a county board of health organized under chapter 70.05 RCW, a health district organized under chapter 70.46 RCW, or a combined city and county health department organized under chapter 70.08 RCW. (b) "Notifiable condition" means a disease or condition that the state board of health has determined to be of public health importance and must be reported to either the local health officer or the department. NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. A new section is added to chapter 70.05 RCW to read as follows: (1) By July 1, 2014, each local board of health shall adopt a community health alert notification plan that establishes the method by which the local health department, health district, or combined city and county health department shall keep the public who reside in its jurisdiction informed of variations in the incidence of notifiable conditions that exceed the rate that would be expected. The plan shall address the elements identified in section 1 and shall give consideration to the guidance established by the department. (2) The plan shall be made available to the public on the web site of each local health department. --- END ---
Original Text - There is currently no law or even requirement, for the CDC or any Government Health Agency to tell the citizens there is an epidemic in their area. The current policy is to inform Health Care Providers and used "earned media" from deaths and clinics to share the CDC recommendations and Health Departments epidemic message. People are unknowingly walking around in the middle of an epidemic and they do not say anything on the Department of Health Website. The Washington DOH said, "if every county doesn't have an epidemic, we can't say anything." The Health Department said that they and the Department of Health didn't agree as to the definition of epidemic. The CDC said, "Unfortunately, these outbreaks help us do our job" The state wouldn't call the CDC because they would only come for a week to help. They all said there is no money for sending out an epidemic warning! There is nothing in place to monitor and react at a national level in the event of an epidemic! A master plan should be created as to the definition of an epidemic and an automatic notice sent out once that level is reached to any household or business in the area.
It is a law that we have to tell them if we have a contagious disease, but they do not have to tell us anything! Please make them send each household in the epidemic area a public health notice, explaining the situation and recommended steps to follow.
Washington State Congressman Rick Larsen said, "I think it's an excellent idea!"
For more information visit my blog @ http://kennethaskorner.weebly.com/
Senator Paull Shin is also working on legislation, we will keep you posted!